Thought London’s busiest shopping street was all Pizza Huts and Maccy D’s when it comes to food? Think again. Oxford Street’s restaurants have come on leaps and bounds in the last few years with everything from ever-changing rooftop pop-ups to in-store restaurants that boast a crystal encrusted 30ft pegasus. With Christmas shopping season in full swing, here are our top picks to book into for some post or pre-shopping R&R.
Just a stone’s throw from Oxford Circus, Aqua Nueva offers decadent small plates with panoramic views of central London. While the menu might read Spanish, the interiors are anything but rickety old tapas restaurant. Think luxe dark woods, sexy lighting and a shimmering gold tiled bar. Their take on tapas is modern too, with some dishes that are as Instagrammable as they are tasty. Spiced crab tostadas, suckling pig tacos and burnt Catalan cream with blood orange sorbet are just a few we love. Yum.
The glitziest brasserie you’ll find in W1 if not the entire capital; Selfridge’s Brasserie of Light brings unadulterated glamour to the famous department store. Take a table at the floor to ceilings windows for ultimate people watching, pull up a pew at the bar or bed in beneath the epic Damien Hirst-designed crystal Pegasus with a wingspan of 30ft.
As department store restaurants go, the food is genuinely good. Highlights include the tuna tacos, lobster spaghetti and you can’t go wrong with their house cheeseburger for a refuel between shopping trips.
Pop-up King Jimmy Garcia is currently dwelling on top of John Lewis’ roof. It may be winter but don’t let that stop you from dining out in the brisk cold air. The American carnival-inspired menu includes some warming delights including popcorn chicken, carnival burgers and the truffle shuffle – truffle loaded mac ‘n’ cheese with sprung onions and candied bacon.
There are also cute little cabin houses available to book for chillier days and a curling lane powered by Google that will ensure you heat up with some healthy competition.
Arthur’s restaurant has just opened in, what we like to think is, London’s best department store. At Liberty’s take a break from browsing their incredible curated collections, from cult beauty buys to an eclectic mix of homeware, in the new eatery. Sink into plush teal banquettes and order a changing menu of tasty, seasonal British fair.
Step into the Dalloway Terrace and you wouldn’t know Oxford Street was a mere few minutes away. The pretty terrace is decked out in blooms by Wild at Heart florist Nikki Tibbles and changes with the seasons. So whether you’ve been shopping your Sping/Summer or Autumn/Winter wardrobe there’s always an excuse to pop in to see how it’s been decked out. Book in for healthy brunch options or indulge in a retro cheese fondue come dinnertime.
If whisky drams and rich game dishes are your vibe, head to Mac and Wild on Great Titchfield Street for a post-shopping feast. The Scottish restaurant celebrates everything north of the border, from their famous venison roasts to seriously good cured salmon and the Venimoo burger – a double threat mix of beef and venison topped with bacon, dripping cheese and mouthwatering sauces.
Fresh pasta all day long at incredible prices is the USP of Pastaio. Headed up by top chef Stevie Parle, dishes include the likes of creamy carbonara, fresh clam linguine and the seafood paccheri (for two) that comes stacked with prawns, clams and mussels with courgettes, saffron, chilli and white wine.
Whether you’re after a quiet spot to catch up on work emails or a lively kitchen table to watch all the chef action, Percy & Founders has it all. Just a five minute walk from the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street, it’s a sprawling space – which means you can usually get a table. Food-wise there’s something for everyone from decadent oysters, to juicy grills and superfood packed salads.
Hidden on Heddon Street lies Sakagura, one of our favourite Japanese restaurants in Central London. There’s an element of do-it-yourself here thanks to the ishiyaki stones that you can grill succulent wagyu beef on to whichever rareness you like, or the Sumibi Yakiniku BBQ which can be ordered for a minimum of two people, to grill up your own meats, fish and veg for an authentic Japanese experience. There are plenty of tasty delicious dishes on the menu that the actual chefs will cook for you too if you’re not into DIY, from fresh sushi to tasty yakatori.
It’s near impossible getting a table here for breakfast, so make the most of odd eating times and book in mid-shopping session. The interiors are Instagrammable, the atmosphere buzzy and the menu tasty and consistent. It’s easy to navigate too; choose from small plates to skewers for a sharing affair or bowls packed with healthy refuelling salads and superfoods.
“Press for Piscos” is the reason we return to this restaurant. Each table has a button that’s practically impossibly not to get the urge to press that will bring a waiter and a fresh tipple of their signature cocktail to your table in minutes. The food is seriously tasty too, from Peruvian-inspired tiraditos – a little like cevhice, to the handmade steamed buns that can be stuffed with succulent beef cheeks, slow cooked pork or chilli miso brisket.
For understated interiors with a menu that packs a punch, head to Soho’s Kiln. The Thai grill cooks up dishes on open flames, hot coals and in clay pots right before your eyes for an authentic and theatrical experience. The menu is small but perfectly formed, trust us, you’ll love everything on there.